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Washington, D.C. - Today, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced its intention to publish the final draft rule on ergonomics later this week in the Federal Register. OSHA plans to submit its final rule to the Office of Management and Budget next Spring following the completion of three public comment hearings on Feb. 1, 2000.

The following is a statement from Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., on OSHA's announcement.

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"I commend OSHA for its commitment to the safety and health of our nation's workers. The issue of ergonomics has been carefully examined by Congress and OSHA for several years. Musculoskeletal disorders are a real and serious threat to many employees' health. Congress and OSHA, however, are at odds on how best to prevent these injuries. Part of the difficulty in producing a good standard is that the ergonomics debate is now clouded with politics, not based on sound science. In fact, that is why Congress and the president funded a National Academy of Science's (NAS) study last year to objectively construct a standard. Rather than wait for NAS's independent conclusions, OSHA jumped the gun. In addition, they failed to inform key committees in Congress of their efforts to preempt the NAS study. I intend to review the final proposed rule and look forward to working productively with OSHA to establish safer worksites which everyone agrees are necessary for our nation's workers."